Caddis just now starting

Clarity today (4/26) in town this morning - about 16 inches of visibility

JG with a nice small creek cutthroat. Photo: Ben McCraken

So far this week’s rain hasn’t impacted the CFS flows too much. We have been seeing some caddis afterwork already but things are just getting started in that department.  There have been tons of midges out as well as some baetis and March Browns way down low.  The dry fly fishing has been better than the streamer fishing, although if you are floating there will be plenty of opportunities to do both.  Aside from the Yellowstone we’ve also been fishing the Madison, local lakes, the spring creeks and smaller streams in the area.  The weather forecast is looking like more rain and snow this week, which could make for more great dry fly fishing if you are willing to battle the elements.  These April storms should be adding to our already solid snowpack, making this August the best we’ve had in years.  Give us a call for the latest report on clarity, wind, or to book a guide.  406-222-7130.

Smaller rivers and creeks have been fun lately... Photo: Ben McCraken

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Clarity Report

Clarity 4/18 at 7:45AM - green is good, about 18" of visibility

The Stone looks like a go for today.  Yesterday was warm but not hot enough to make the CFS spike hard like last week.  Call anytime for a report or to book a trip but the river looks good to go for now… 406-222-7130.

Easter Sunday (4/16) above Carter's bridge

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Yellowstone River Clean Up next Saturday 4/22

Join us next Saturday (April 22nd) for the Yellowstone River Clean Up...

The annual Yellowstone River Clean up is now just a week away.  Please note the clean up is no longer at the Civic Center in Sacajawea Park, but has now moved to Pop Stand on 89 South.  The dumpsters (and recycling) will be set up in front of the old Melody and the boat wash will be set up next door at the Sweetwater Fly Shop.  Children are welcome and encouraged to join.  Please bring your boat, gloves, waders, and rain gear just in case.  If you don’t have a boat the kind folks at Joe Brooks will try to match you up with a captain so you can still float.  Otherwise, there are several boat ramp accesses and spots that people will be walking and cleaning up by foot.  This is always a fun function and a great way to give back to the river… we hope to see you there!

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Clarity Report

Clarity today in town, not overly inviting ... (Sat. 4/15)

Looks like boats will better off headed to the Upper Madison this weekend, or at least today.  The Lamar and Gardiner both spiked but have since peaked, so there is a slim chance the Upper Yellowstone could be playing by Easter Sunday.  Starting next week the forecast is calling for rain, which could make for some excellent Baetis dry fly fishing on the creeks.  With the colder temps the Yellowstone will clear up and be fishing well again soon.  Give us a call for a report or to book a trip.  If we aren’t fishing the Stone we’ll be on the Madison or the MO.  406-222-7130.

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Spring fishing is heating up, time to book a trip!

Dawn Kettenring with a nice brown. Captain McGuire on the net job...

It’s about time to put the skis up and get the rods out.  The Yellowstone has started to pick up lately.  Water temps are still cold however, so if you are streamer fishing be sure to slow down your retrieve.  Often times no action at all has been the ticket.  Since the water clarity has been off try black or brighter colors to help the fish see your streamer.  The dry fly fishing has actually been better than the streamer fishing.  Midges have been the main staple, but we’ve also seen some Baetis and March Browns out.  When the conditions are right the fish have been rising, (mostly in the slower side water or foam eddies).   Stop in for some bugs and ideas on where to go.

Elize Cline with another nice brown from yesterday (4/10)...

Now is also a great time to book a trip on the Yellowstone, Spring Creeks, or Madison.  With less people around there is also a lot less pressure to be had and the fish are finally starting to pay attention.  From now until Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch, the Yellowstone will be a solid choice, especially for those looking to catch one or two solid browns. If it is muddy, our go to back up has been the Madison, which is really fishing just as good if not better than the Yellowstone.

Sue Larson and Chase Chapman at DePuy's Spring Creek. Photo: Jay Larson

The Spring Creeks can also be a great place to fish this time of year as fish are keying in on beatis and by the end of April will be looking for caddis as well.  Winter rates ($40 per rod) last until 4/14 (this Friday), so take advantage of this and get out there before rates increase to $80 per rod on 4/15.

John Michunovich with nice Valley brown... Photo: John Bond

We have a solid amount of snow pack this year (118% snow-water equivalent and 142% total precipitation) for the Upper Yellowstone River Basin.  This is great as it means we will have more water in August than last year.  It is always hard to predict when the Yellowstone will clear from runoff but so far the first week of July seems like a safe guess.  If you don’t mind fishing in flows of 10,000 CFS or higher, then the last week in June might even be fishable, it all depends on if we get more rain and snow in the mountains and how quickly it melts when the weather does get warmer…

John Bond with a nice Upper Madison brown... fishing has been good over there!

In addition to the larger rivers some of the smaller rivers in our area are starting to fish well.  These will continue to be in an out according to the weather and snow melt so give us a call and we’ll get you the latest scoop we have…

The Douglas 9'#3 in action... Photo: JG (Josh Green)


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Clarity Report

Clarity is a little better today, perhaps 16" of visibility at Carter's?

The river is still pretty off color right now but today is the first day that looks like it might be worth a shot.  CFS has leveled out in town but it looks like it may be coming up again at Corwin Springs.  Not much “W” this weekend but it does look like it 40% chance of rain tonight and 30% of rain or snow on Sunday.  The river will likely be tough fishing but you never know when the big one will show up.  If you decide to rally, rig up at least one dry fly rod per boat and look for fish rising to midges along the edges and back eddies.  Any midge dry and a good drift should do the trick.  Otherwise plan on nymph fishing or fishing streamers.

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Yellowstone Report

The river finally is clear of ice, however not all the boat ramps are.

Fishing on the Yellowstone has picked up, slightly.  If you catch the right day/moment the trout have been pretty happy and rising to midges.  Otherwise, in general the fishing has still been pretty slow still.  If you are trying to float be aware that the shuttle companies aren’t up and running yet and also several boat ramps are still covered in snow and ice.  Be sure to check both ramps to make sure you will be able to get in and out safely.  Conditions are changing daily however, and if we have temps in the 50′s and even 60′s next week this should melt a lot of shelf ice.  The Yellowstone is already on the rise, but we expect the river will come up even more next week and possibly muddy or off color as well.  Give us a call for a clarity, wind, or boat ramp report anytime.  406-222-7130.

Midge time... This was around 10:30AM today (3/11)

If you are streamer fishing or swinging for the big one expect to put some time in before you see significant results. Until water temps warm up over here the MO or Bighorn are still better options for swinging and fishing streamer patterns.  If you do try, moving your fly as little as possible has produced the best results.  Even slow winter strips have not been working compared to a dead drift or slow swing.

Testing Sage's new 12'6"#5 Trout Spey ONE...

On the super slow swing...

Mountain Man Bret Edwards with a Saturday selfie...

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Thawing Out

Springdale boat ramp still under ice

Nice Spring Creek 'bow. photo: JG

With the recent warm weather a lot of anglers have been eager to hit the river.  The fishing has been ok to good depending on where you go.  We all got out this weekend and the results were less than spectacular.  The majority of the fish are still in their winter pattern sticking to the slow, cold water.  This year the river had a lot more ice in it than the previous two and while the air temps may feel like “its on,” we may need another month of thaw in order to experience great fishing (and to be able to utilize all the boat ramps).  Many of the ramps in the Valley and below 89 are still backed up with ice and will be unusable for about another month. If you do get a wild hair and decide to float make sure to scout both put in and take out before you set sail. The Spring Creeks are still the best option for our area.  Fish are still steadily feeding on Midges, Scuds, and all of your typical winter fare.  Rates are still $40 until April 15th so take advantage of the lower rates while you still can.  The creeks do get a reputation of being technical and “tough fishing” but tend to be a bit friendlier in the winter.  If you are still intimidated by the reputation of the creeks give us a call to set up a guide trip 406-222-7130, or give us a ring for up to date river reports.

Slowly thawing out

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Jurassic Lake Report – Week 3

Kyle Travis with a bay of pigs dime piece... Photo: Jedwards

Our third group has just returned from Jurassic Lake Lodge.  Although they faced some challenging conditions such as low water in the river and ripping 50-60 mph winds, everyone on the trip caught the biggest rainbow of their lives.  Which goes to show how amazing this place really is.  Even when the fishing is “difficult” it still produces some phenomenal fish.  We can’t think of anywhere else in the world quite like it, which is why we continue to go back year after year.  As Josh Edwards, the host of our third trip noted, “Jurassic Lake was one of the most unique fisheries I’ve ever experienced.  The days seemed more like saltwater fishing in the surf than trout fishing a lake.”  And at times these huge, chrome rainbows seem more like salmon or steelhead than trout.

Jed cracks another tall boy near the boca, this one into the backing twice! Photo: Kyle Travis

Kyle with a killer river fish. Photo: MT Jed

Next year we are lucky to have booked two back-to-back weeks at Jurassic Lake Lodge during prime time dates.  We are more likely to see higher water levels in the Barrancoso river next year since it is earlier in their season.  (It would be similar to booking a trip to Montana during early July rather than Late July or August).  In the past we have always wanted to get earlier weeks but they have always been full.  In order the “share the love” next year Logan Brown will be hosting week 1 (December 14th – December 24th / fishing days 12/16-12/22) and Josh Green (J.G.) will be hosting week 2 (December 28 – January 7th / fishing days 12/30 – 1/5).  The second week is separated by a small Christmas break for the staff, which means the boca (inlet) will have been rested for several days in a row and will be ready for someone on week 2 to catch the big one upon arrival.  We already have a few spots sold for each week, so if you would like to ensure a spot on this bucket list trip a $1000 deposit will do it.  Please check out our Jurassic Lake travel page for more info or give us a call anytime.  We have been booking trips to Jurassic Lake for over 5 years now, (one hosted trip to Laguna Verde and 4 to Jurassic Lake Lodge).  Wether you would like to go with us or are heading there on your own, we are happy to talk about the proper gear, tackle, flies, and techniques that will help you land the biggest rainbow of your life.  406-222-7130.

Big fish, little river... Jed finds a nice one above the Barrancoso's aquarium pool

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Jurassic Lake report – Week 2

Tim Stamm tames an 18 pounder from the Bay of Pigs... Photo: Pedro F. Rodriguez

Week 2 at Jurassic Lake lodge was another successful trip.   The guys caught a ton of fish in the 15-18 pound range, all with tall shoulders and as chrome as can be.   The report was basically the same, with big fish eating small dries in the river while the bay fish were still focusing more on nymphs.  A new goal for the Barrancoso river is to catch a fish over 30″ on a size #14 dry fly or smaller, which turned out to be a reasonable goal!  It looks like several anglers are looking to re-book for next year so if you are interested in joining one of our weeks next year please give us a call!  406-222-7130.

Back to back beasts! Senior Flood does it again this time with a big "blue back"

During our second hosted week the Bay of Pigs got red hot.  Despite steady winds and gusts in the 60 – 100 kph range (37 – 62 mph) the fish were stacked up and feeding heavily.  Everyone who was willing to stick with it caught a bunch of fish, most all of them over 10 pounds and amazing fighters.

Sitting down on the job again? George with a fat 16 pounder...

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